Land Rover has big plans for the all new Land Rover Defender, if the Frankfurt-bound Land Rover DC100 concept is any indication.
The official word right now is that this is just a concept. According to the suits in the offices at Land Rover, it’s not even a sure thing if the Defender itself is still going to continue to be produced. That is merely the ‘official’ word, however, and for my money, you can bet that the Defender will continue to live on. If Land Rover killed it off, the Jeep Wrangler would have the market for small midsize off-road machines entirely to itself, and that market is growing rapidly around the world.
Due to new emissions regulations in Europe, the new Defender can be expected to drop a lot of weight, as well as to leave behind the V8 for smaller, more fuel efficient engine options. A V6 option definitely isn’t out of the question, nor is the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that debuted in the Range Rover Evoque. Both would get the job done equally well.
A US release for the new Defender is still questionable, since Land Rover has a premium image on our shores and the company could see the Defender as being contrary to that particular image.
The new design is unmistakable as a Defender, with additional design cues drawing comparisons to the Toyota FJ Cruiser (the white top). Land Rover hasn’t announced whether they plan to underpin it with a traditional platform or whether they plan to use a shared platform from one of their other models, as they plan to do with the next-generation Range Rover.
Nevertheless, expect the all-new Defender to be heavily based upon the DC100 concept, possibly with more of a leaning toward luxury than previous generations as well. Considering Land Rover’s recent model onslaught and the Jeep Wrangler’s evergreen popularity, maybe it really isn’t so out of the question to expect the new Defender to pop up in the United States as well.